AUSTIN — On Saturday, seniors Daniel McCants, Kyle Boutte and Devyn Williams finally got their chance to compete for a state title.
With a silver medal around their necks, the trio now focuses on starting over as freshmen at the next level.
McCants, Boutte and Williams go from running high school track to using their speed to score some touchdowns in college this fall.
“We put in all the work during track season trying to get faster and now we’re going to try to work on our craft,” Williams said.
McCants will play at Tarleton State, Boutte plans on committing to Howard Payne on Friday and Williams will suit up for Oklahoma Panhandle State.
The three teamed with junior DJ Lilley to win the boys 400-meter relay silver medal at the UIL Championships at the University of Texas on Saturday. The team posted a time of 40.69 seconds, 0.22 seconds behind state champion Klein Oak and a tenth of a second ahead of bronze medalist Katy Morton Ranch.
Russell is also the defensive tackles coach on the football team and has seen all three players come up and improve during their years at Killeen. Russell said track and football really go hand in hand.
“In football, we want to be bigger, faster and stronger,” Russell said. “In track, you’re going to get that with the track workout. Those guys are very hard workers and we’re going to miss that.”
McCants earned All-District 8-5A first-team honors after rushing for 1,620 yards and 18 touchdowns to finish second in the district. He also averaged 30.3 yards per kickoff return and scored a district-best 128 points.
“I feel like it helped me a lot,” McCants said.
“I’m going to try to run track in college, too.”
He will join a Tarleton team that went 7-3 and 5-1 to finish second in the Lone Star Conference last season.
The Texans play in NCAA Division II and were slated to face Ouachita Baptist in the Heart of Texas Bowl at Bulldawg Stadium before inclement weather forced the game to be canceled.
Boutte finished his senior year on the track after not having one on the football field.
He tore his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his right knee last summer and wasn’t cleared to return to athletics until January.
“It’s helped a lot and helped me get faster over time after losing the speed from the surgery,” Boutte said.
Boutte will play for an HPU team that was 4-6 overall and 2-4 in American Southwest Conference play last season.
HPU competes in NCAA Division III.
Williams was one of eight Killeen High athletes to take part in a National Signing Day ceremony in February.
He plans on playing football at Oklahoma Panhandle State, an NCAA Division II independent.